Tuesday, July 3, 2007

The Whole Apple Pie

I found the recipe at Boxcar Kitchen.

It's basically a cored and skinned (the latter my being my preference) apple wrapped in pie dough and baked.

I used Granny Smiths.

Recipe for pie dough:

60g flour -- about half a cup
45g butter
1/8 tsp cinnamon (optional, but I usually forget to sprinkle the cinnamon on the apple, so...)
1 egg yolk
Sugar--to taste
salt--to taste (I'm sad to say that the two times I've made this, I forgot about the salt)

Cut the butter into the flour, sugar, salt and cinnamon. Then add the egg yolk and mix it up with your hands.

Wrap and chill for about an hour, or up to three days.

This should be just right for a medium-sized apple, with just a little left over--I don't like to freeze pie dough any more, because I think it's really better freshly made. You can make leaves with the scraps, if you are so inclined.

To make the pie:

1 apple
A slice of lemon/lime
cinnamon or other ground spices--I usually skip this
a small pat of butter--believe it or not, I've never measured this
sugar--I usually skip this too

Skin and core it. I think the original recipe doesn't require you to skin it, but I don't like apple skin in my pie.

Rub the lemon all over (browned apples are Just Awful), and squeeze the rest into the hole.

Roll out the pie dough. Put your apple on the dough, and insert the butter into the hole (shut up peanut gallery). Dust with your spices and sugar if desired.

Wrap up and bake in at 200C/400F for 25 minutes--this is just right, according to my oven.

Eat hot. It's not so good the next day. If you don't have dinner, or had a very light dinner, one should fill you up nicely.

But if you're virtuous (Life is Short. Be Sinful, not Virtuous), one should be a nice dessert for two people, especially with ice cream.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Korova Brownies: Final edition

The Korova Brownie was inspired by the Korova cookie, of course!

And more specifically by an eGer, Chris Amirault.

Another eGer rose to the challenge, and Kerry Beal's recipe can be found here. It was also Kerry's idea to do a Brownie Bake-off on eGullet.

I really was going to take a picture, but it couldn't happen, as my digital camera is on fritz, and my PDA's camera decided to take a holiday. Cameras, as my dear readers will find out, HATE me. Grrrr....

As for why I did go to the trouble of going to battle again with cameras? It's Brownie Babe of the Month, of course!

This is a fudgy brownie. I believe cakey brownies are not brownies and I don't do crunchy add-ins, especially not nuts, as much as I like nuts.

The cookie dough part is very very rich, and when you bite into it with the brownie...Sumptuous is the only word that can be used to describe the mouthfeel.


Cookie dough:

50g butter

25g brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla

75g flour
20g cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking powder

Cream the butter. Add the sugar, salt and vanilla.

Then stir in the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder until it clumps together.

Chill for about half an hour.

Roll 16 little balls of cookie dough and chill--you can make this ahead and freeze. I usually have leftovers, which I bake off as my little Baker's Snack.


200g bittersweet chocolate (70% Valrhona Guanaja)
150g butter
50g or 1/4 cup sugar
3/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

120g or 1 cup flour
50g or 1/4 cup sugar
50g cocoa powder

4 eggs, separated
50g brown sugar

Melt the chocolate and the butter together. Stir in the first 50g of sugar, the salt and the vanilla extract. Set aside to cool a little.

Mix the second 50g of sugar, flour and cocoa powder in a bowl.

Instructions for stand mixer:

Whip the egg whites. Add the final amount of sugar when it reaches firm peaks, and then continue whipping until stiff.

Pour in the egg yolks with the mixer on. When fully mixed, it should be a lovely, pale yellow.

Slowly pour in the melted chocolate mixture. Scrape all of it in, and follow with all of the flour mixture.

Mix until it forms a thick, glossy batter that has no flour streaks.

Instructions for whipping by hand:

Whip the egg whites, adding the sugar it reaches firm peaks and continue whipping until stiff.

Whisk in the egg yolks one by one.

Fold in the melted chocolate mixture, then the flour. Continue folding until the batter is thick and glossy.

Pour into a 8 inch square pan.

Bake for 10 minutes at 160C.

Remove from oven, and insert the balls of cookie dough at even intervals. You should be aiming to cut 16 pieces, ie 4 by 4 squares, so insert the balls accordingly. I recommend chopsticks, or failing that, ice cube tongs.

Continue baking for another 20 minutes, or until the center stops jiggling--don't bother with the skewer test because it will be very wet.

Cool, slice and keep overnight before eating. They last 3-4 days here, because I'm one tiny person who eats only 3-4 2-inch square brownies a day.


I've not tried whipping whole eggs for the brownies, but I plan to. Would save me the trouble of separating them each time.

I personally don't recommend mixing the egg yolks into the melted chocolate-butter mixture, like most recipes say to do. It thickens up, and it's not as easy, IMHO, to fold into the whipped eggs.

I haven't tried inserting the cookie dough into the brownie batter before starting to bake it yet. I might, but it won't be in the near future, as I am quite sure I won't be feeling like brownies in the near future. I still have more than a half-batch of these to go--second batch in two weeks, I think.

I find that whipping the eggs provides a rather silky, fudgy kind of texture. Stirring in the whole eggs, a la the Medrich recipes, gets you a chewy brownie, which I'm not keen on.

You may want to increase the sugar a little, or use a chocolate that's in the 50-60% range. I tend to bake very light on sugar.

They can be frozen. What I did the last time was slice, wrap in cling wrap, drop them all in a ziploc and chucked the bag in the freezer. To defrost, I put them in the fridge overnight, then left them outside for a few hours. As far as I am concerned, and I am fussy, they taste as good as fresh.

And finally, they taste better after aging at least overnight. Trust me on this. It's not very good on the day you bake them.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Rich Chocolate Cupcakes: First Edition

I want two different chocolate cupcake recipes, you see.

I like spongey cakes and rich, fudgey cakes, and so with chocolate, it's necessary to have two kinds of cake. ;)

200 gram bar of Valrhona 70% chocolate
275g butter
300g or 1 1/2 cups sugar
8 eggs
150g or 1 1/4 cup flour
25g or 1/4 cup cocoa powder, unsweetened
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt

Melt the butter together with the chocolate. Stir in the sugar and let cool.

Sift the flour with the cocoa powder, salt and baking powder.

Beat the chocolate mixture for two minutes, then add the eggs in one by one, mixing well in between additions. This is important, as there are no whipped eggs to help the cake rise.

Stir in the flour mixture.

Bake in cupcake pans for 170C.


I think the butter to chocolate ratio is still too high. Even my brownie recipe is 1:1, not 1.5:1, and it's making the cupcake wrappers fall off. As some on eGullet said, "Their pants have fallen off."

I know, I know, you cannot believe I'm reducing the butter. But it's not a butter cake, it's a chocolate cake, you know.

I actually use 30g cocoa, which is a bit more than 1/4 cup, for you people who use cups.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Pate Sucree: First Edition

This one appears to be a disaster, but I've not used all of it, and I will try again this weekend.


140g butter
25g powdered sugar
1 egg yolk
150g or 1 1/4 cup pastry flour
pinch of salt

Cream the butter until smear-able, but not light and fluffy--we are not making cookies here. Add the powdered sugar and salt. Add the egg yolk.

Mix in the flour. Do Not Overmix, because I think I overmixed which is why it's not so good.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Cinnamon Buns: First Edition

They might be known as cinnamon buns, cinnamon rolls etc wherever you're at.

But no matter what they're called, they are yummylicious indeed.

Except... I don't think this recipe's it my dears.

For the dough:

240g or 2 cups all-purpose flour
60g or 1/2 cup bread flour*
pinch of salt
50g or 1/4 cup brown sugar
3 cardamom pods, ground or 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1/2 cup or 122g milk
8g instant yeast
56g or 4 tbsps butter, melted

Warm the milk slightly, then let the yeast proof a little in it.

Stir the flours, sugar and cardamom in a bowl. Add the melted butter, egg and egg yolk and milk and yeast mixture, then mix until smooth.

Leave in the fridge overnight.


60g softened butter--about 4 tbsps (some will say this is optional, but butter is Never optional)

50g sugar mixed with 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Take out the dough an hour before you're ready to start making the buns. (the dough can be kept in the fridge for 2 days)

Roll out into a rectangle that's roughly 12 by 24 inches, or 30 by 60 centimeters.

Spread the butter on top, then sprinkle on the cinnamon sugar. Roll it up from the longer side.

Cut into 12 equal pieces. Cover and let rise for an hour.

Bake at 200C for 8-10 minutes, or until golden.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Lemon Curd: Second Edition

Oh lemon curd...how much do I love you? Too much. Too too much.

Does anybody know how to stop me from spooning lemon curd directly into my mouth? Help!


3/4 cup lemon juice--about 4 lemons
Zest of 3 lemons
200g sugar
100g butter
3 eggs
2 egg yolks

Zest the lemons onto the sugar in a pot. Rub zest into sugar to form plump grains--this is from Pierre Herme's Lemon Cream recipe.

Add the butter and melt stove-top.

Pour the juice in.

Whisk in the eggs and egg yolks one by one.

Cook on medium-to-low heat, stirring constantly, until thick enough to leave a trail. Don't worry about any egg coagulation--you'll get rid of it in the next step.

Cool a little, then sieve into containers.

Store in fridge.


Doesn't taste very much different from my previous batch. This is not a bad thing as the last batch was pretty darn good.

Seems thicker--will find out tomorrow.

The last time, I made it, I added the butter after it cooled because this supposedly makes for a silkier curd. I don't think that's the case.

I wouldn't squeeze out that last bit of curd when you're sieveing it. You'll like 'grate' the coagulated bits of egg, and ruin the silky-smooth texture of the cake.

It makes quite a lot, certainly enough to fill several 9 inch cakes with plenty to spare.

When you bake it, it really sets up. But it's not liquid enough to smoothen out on its own, ie if you dollop it in, there will be peaks and stuff.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Salted Butter Caramel Sauce: FinalEdition

I love salted butter caramel, or caramel au beurre sale if you want to get all fancy and French-ified.

This goes quite well with a lot of things. I bet it'd be yummy to drizzle on pound cake or chocolate cake or add to coffee.

150g sugar
30g butter
100g cream
1/2 tsp salt

Caramelize the sugar. Add the cream, butter, salt and cook on very low heat for three minutes.


I tried to use this to fill a cake and it was a disaster. Don't try this, peeps. I'll come up with something else and post it.